In this iReport, Luke "Duke" Emmons gives you the inside scoop from Stunt Wars in Orlando, Fla.
Stunt Wars has always been one of my favorite competitions…love it, need it, have to have it! It’s always in the dead of winter and feels more like a vacation than anything else since it’s in Florida. Stunt Wars in January is not part of any series so it’s a lot less stress, and my family also lives in the area so it’s always great to catch up with everyone.
I spent about a week working on my bike prior to the competition to make sure it was right, cleaning calipers, "locktighting" bolts, changing over Shinko rubber. I once learned from a wise man that proper planning prevents poor performance. Actually he’s an idiot but I took this one piece of advice from him! This year I left during a snow storm, a replay of SW 2009. My riding coach came with me, and we made it down to Orlando in just about 19 hours. It’s sad to say that this is one of the closest competitions to the North East.
I got to the competition a week early so I could practice and dust off a couple cobwebs. I was able to ride about 3 weeks prior to leaving for SW but due to all the snow on the ground in the North East I haven’t been able to practice as much as I would like to. Damn, why do we live up here! Riding 5-hour practice sessions is hard on the body and the bike but it’s a must if you want to do well in a sport where people are so talented.
I stopped at the track on Saturday and dialed everything in. I am a firm believer in not overdoing it the day before or the day of a comp. Ride and get used to the layout then shut your bike off and relax. I don’t know how many times I have wadded up the day of or the day before from over practicing. Lesson learned.
The surface was great and very close to what I ride on at home. I was prequalified from Stunt Wars 2010 as I took second last year. Stunt Wars has a unique rule that the top three finishers from the year before are automatically pre-qualified for the finals. I still rode for fun and like I was competing because I like showing off in front of a crowd. Pretty sure all stunt riders do!
Day 2 of the event was upon us and all of the preparation came down to one 5 minute run.
I felt good going into the competition and as ready as I could be. My Shift gloves were fitting…umm like gloves and my jacket was light as a feather in the Florida heat. My turn came to lay it down on the track and I put my best foot forward. I had a bobble or 2 during my run but it was still good enough to lock in a solid 2nd place finish to that wise man Bill D. Krazy Kyle finished a respectable third behind the two of us.
I have to say that this venue was very organized on game day. The winners were announced right after each event and payouts were also instantaneous. The attendance was also very good due to great promotion from the Stunt Wars staff. There has just been a series announced for Stunt Wars, all to be held at the Orlando race complex.
I am looking forward to hitting them all and maybe standing at the top of the podium at the end of the season. A lot can happen from now to then. I would like to give thanks to all of the support getting me to this point: SHIFT, Racing 905, Dave’s Cycle works, Hindle Exhaust, Sparx Helmets, HEL brake lines, Gabriel Racing, Port of Worcester Tattoos, HT Moto, Amsoil, Shinko Tires, Thrust Co, Bike Styles, Stuntride.com, and Hohey Designs.
Thank you all.
Photo Credit: David Avila